Channel: Internet Town Hall Program: Special Program Release: May 2, 1993 (Hearings were on April 29, 1993) Content: Hearings by House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance
Chairman Edward Markey held oversight hearings on April 29 on the rights and responsibilities of individuals and organizations in cyberspace. A high tech presentation highlighting issues such as encryption, electronic invasions of privacy, fraud, civil liberties and computer crime, preceded a panel discussion.
For the demonstration, a world-class team of four engineers from Sun and the San Diego Supercomputer Center brought in an HDTV, an ATM switch, an ISDN switch, a Russian satellite dish, a XEROX Liveboard, a BARCO projector with special video equipment, four Sparcstation 10s, a few Sparcstation 2s, and miscellaneous other equipment.
The purpose of the demonstration was to show that while our current public policy makes distinctions based on industry, those distinctions have no meaning in the underlying technology. A television is a computer and a computer is a television; a computer is a telephone and vice versa. To demonstrate the latter point, Gage and his associates showed how a new AT&T cellular phone could be changed by any 13-year old into a scanner. The demonstration also showed how DES code could be pulled off anonymous FTP systems in Finland, yet US industry was unable to export this technology.
The panel consisted of Raymond Kammer, Acting Director of NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), who provided testimony on technology standard setting issues including the government-endorsed "Clipper Chip" encryption technology;
Mr. Bruce Sterling, noted science fiction writer on cyberspace and also author of the non-fiction book, "The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier," which discusses computer crime and civil liberties;
Mr. John Lucich, State Investigator with the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice. Mr. Lucich combats computer and electronic fraud crimes by electronically infiltrating the underground computer bulletin boards of the "hacker" and "phone phreak" community; and
Mr. Joel Reidenberg, Professor of Law at Fordham University Law School, who has studied how personal privacy is affected by telecommunications and computer technologies and the various privacy protections afforded citizens of different countries.
We would like to apologize in advance for the very poor audio quality of this tape. The hearing room was quite antiquated, and was full of ungrounded electricity, lots and lots of electronic equipment, wireless mikes, and PA systems turned up way too loud. We hope the content makes the mind happier than the ears.
Support for this program was provided by O’Reilly & Associates and by Sun Microsystems.